How to Find the Right Nursing College near Alexander City Alabama
Finding the best nursing program near Alexander City AL may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Alexander City AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Alexander City AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Alexander City AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Alexander City AL or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Alexander City AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Alexander City AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Alexander City AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Alexander City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for some Alexander City AL students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Alexander City AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Alexander City Alabama area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Alexander City, Alabama
Alexander City, known to locals as "Alex City", is a city in Tallapoosa County, Alabama, United States, with a population of some 14,875. It is known for Lake Martin with its 750 miles (1,210 km) of wooded shoreline and 44,000 acres (18,000 ha) of water. Lake Martin stands on the Tallapoosa River and offers boating, swimming, fishing, golfing, and camping. Many neighborhoods and luxury homes are located on the lake.
Alexander City was incorporated in 1872 as Youngsville, after its founder James Young. In 1873, the Savannah and Memphis Railroad came to the city. The city was renamed in honor of the railroad's President Edward Porter Alexander, hero of the Battle of Gettysburg for the Confederate States.
On June 13, 1902, at 1 pm, a fire broke out in the Alexander City Machine shop and destroyed much of the town. At the time, Alexander City did not have a water system and all buildings, including the telegraph office, post office and three banks were burned.
Select the Right Nursing College near Alexander City AL
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Alexander City AL.
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